This week in cinema, Twihards are invited to look their last on the love affair of Edward and Bella. After four books and as many films, fans are lining up to enjoy the final installation of the Twilight Series as Breaking Dawn: Part 2 hits cinemas. The recent rift between lead actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart has done nothing to damper the ardour of fans. Yet critical opinion is still divided on the Twilight Saga as people continue to ask, is it actually any good?
I've already blogged about the Twilight legacy here.Today, I'd like to consider two vastly different perspectives on Twilight published in The Guardian this past week.
Issy Sampson's 'Twilight: What Have we Learned?' provides a caustic review on the series: 'We've watched all five movies so you don't have to!' Equating hell with 'Twilight films, on loop,' Sampson proves that vampires are not the only creatures with fangs. Here is her synopsis of the first book/film:
Awkward, lip-biting teenager Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington, where she falls in love with mysterious, moody, tan-averse Edward Cullen. Who turns out to be a vampire! But, y'know, a vegetarian one: he only eats animals. Edward and his foster brothers and sisters (who, er, also date each other: go with it) protect Bella when some evil vampires turn up. After smelling her. Sexy.
Providing another perspective on the debate is Mark Kermode, who proves an unlikely champion of the series. In 'Move Over Luke Skywalker... I'm a Twilight Man' he claims the Twilight Saga is better than Star Wars. He voices his suspicion over the critical reception the fils have received to date:
The collective critical moo-ing that greets the arrival of each new screen instalment of the Twilight series says more about how out of touch the film-reviewing fraternity is with a certain section of the movie-going audience than it does about the films themselves. The sight of stuffy, bespectacled greying men berating films aimed primarily at teenage girls is as farcical as it is depressing.
He goes on to say that labelling the films 'Mormon inspired abstinence porn' is 'just a coolly cosmopolitan way of saying that heroines must be sexually active to be interesting' and maintains that 'Twilight series' positive legacy is already written in stone.'
Seven years after the original novel was published, the Twilight Saga is credited with the boom in YA fiction sales and with paving the way for a glut of paranormal romance books in shops. Critics such as Kermode claim it created a platform for other teen heroines, such as The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen. Like it or loath it, Twilight still manages to divide critical opinion and inspire debate.